So here’s what happened with Tim’s foot.
Remember how we paid handsomely for not carrying two sets of keys? And remember how we were going to make it a priority to get a second key for both our car and home? And always carry it around with us?
Yeah… That didn’t happen.
The thing is that getting a new car key is going to be a pain in the ass.
We have to take it to a dealership because there’s no code showing where there should be (or something), which means a random person can’t get the key working with our alarm system. So to get any new key, we have to go to the Honda dealership, get them to find the code for us, then go somewhere else to get the key coded to the alarm system. Or something like that.
All I know is it was going to be a huge hassle. So we put it off. Aka never got around to it.
And because we never bothered with that, I never went back to carrying my own keys. Which bit us in the ass on Tuesday night.
My company’s marketing director came to town this year for a conference. He invited us out to dinner, which was nice. Then we invited him back to our place to meet Pandora and see the pool table/play a game or two. Tim gave me the car keys and drove my coworker back to the house. Sounds fine, right?
Well, see, I drive slower than Tim (which is to say 10 miles or less over the speed limit). So they arrived at our house before me. Without a house key.
All they had to do was wait — I was maybe 10 minutes behind them — but Tim was eager to show the guy Pandora and play a couple games of pool. So he got impulsive and did what we’ve had to do a couple of times: use the roof to break into our house..
Our roof is low-hanging. It’s about seven feet off the ground. So Tim can climb up on a stool, which lets him climb up onto the recycling bin, which lets him basically take a step and be on the roof. Granted, it’s not great on his joints (especially easing himself down in the back yard), but it’s better than calling a locksmith.
The thing is, he hasn’t had to do this since a) his hands got so bad and b) we got Pandora.
So as Tim was getting ready to ease himself down, he saw Pandora — her puppy heart filled to the brim with love and excitement — bounding toward him. And simultaneously, his hands cramped up.
In order not to fall on his face or back or Pandora, Tim just let go. Unfortunately, he landed right on his heels. On the edge of the patio’s concrete. In Converse, which have zero support.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Tim ended up being admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning.
The agony of the feet
The left foot just sustained a nasty sprain. Really, really nasty. Even the bottom and outside of his foot have bruises.
Meanwhile, his right heel is broken. Just the heel, mind you, making the bruising (all the way up his skin) extra impressive.
Again, all of this happened in the maybe 10 extra minutes it took me to get home. Which is why I was/am frustrated as hell with, initially, brief moments of being livid.
Because… 10 friggin’ minutes. Because 6-12 weeks of recovery. Because he can’t remember that he isn’t just hurting himself when he, well, hurts himself.
I wanted to yell. I wanted to scold. I wanted to plead with him to build a time machine (I mean, he has a lot of free time right now) and go back and tell himself to wait 10 minutes.
But it would serve no purpose. (The anger, I mean. The time machine would be really handy.)
He already feels incredibly stupid. He’s already embarrassed and frustrated. What more can yelling do?
It won’t speed his healing (heel-ing?), nor will it lessen my now-increased workload. All it will do is make him shut down, get defensive or cry. All utterly counterproductive to the situation and our marriage.
So there’s really no point in ranting. Which is why I’m not bothering. Except that that blogging about it on a site he reads is probably a passive aggressive form of ranting.
Besides, he’s also suffering.
It’s not just the pain — though there’s a lot of it — but also being dependent. He already hated how much I have to do around here, especially on days when his hands weren’t cooperating or his back had him practically immobilized. Now he has to watch me do more and all he can do is apologize. (Which he does a fair amount of, incidentally.)
Not to mention that he spent years as an adult not being able to drive — another long story — and was dependent on other people’s good graces to get around thanks to a nearly non-existent transit system where his parents lived. So not being able to drive is reminding him of past helplessness.
Given all that, there’s really nothing that I could say or do that would make him more acutely aware of his role in all this.
Blame enough to go ’round (sorta)
Besides, I suppose some of the in-the-abstract blame falls on me too. Kinda.
I mean, neither of us made the key thing a priority. We were too focused on dealing with day-to-day life:navigating errands, chores and doctors’ appointments in and around bad days. I could have insisted we do it. I knew it was important. But… I didn’t remind him or schedule it or… anything, really.
And I can’t even say that now I’m going to make it a priority because I’ll be too busy/tired from the extra work. And hell, we won’t really need the extra key if I’m the only one able to drive.
Well, assuming I don’t lose the last remaining one. Crap.
Fine, I guess I’ll put it high on the list of secondary priorities. But chances aren’t great that I’ll get around to it in the near future.
Obviously there’s no good time to break something or get sick — even when both people are able-bodied/minded. When one or both of you have chronic illnesses, it’s even worse. But of course, this came at an especially bad time because it was right as I started some overtime.
I’m covering an extra weekend this month. Add that to the normal overtime weekend I work, and I’m looking at 18 days in a row of helping and/or soothing customers. I won’t get another day off until Saturday the 18th.
Also, my lower back has also been acting up a lot lately. The TENS unit is helping, but it’s been worse the last few days. The additional errands I have to run will be a problem, as will fetching and toting as needed for mostly-immobilized Tim.
I’m going to start wearing shoes in the house — something I hate — to absorb some of the shock of the tile floor. Hopefully, that’ll help my back.
Tim’s icing the hell out of his ankles. He’s trying to get the swelling down in the sprained one. Once that’s better, Nadine’s walker should let him move around more easily. Relatively speaking.
I’m canceling all non-essential appointments. His pulmonologist visit on Monday can’t be put off. Nor can therapy appointments (his and mine). And we’ll need him to get seen about his foot at some point soon (and then a checkup in early March).
I also went to the grocery store on Sunday and loaded up on frozen pizzas and snacks. The essentials.
Other than that, I’m just going to try to order things as soon as they start to get even remotely low. That way we’re not stuck without laundry detergent, dishwasher tabs or toilet paper during a spate of bad days.
The mom(s) solution
Nadine has been offering to help, but there’s a mental block there for me. I always appreciate it when she cooks, but beyond that…
I know that she’s actually out and about a fair amount of the time. In fact, she goes out more than I do. And she regularly cooks, does laundry, etc. But in my head I still see her hobbling on a cane/walker. (In my defense, she still uses both a fair chunk of the time.) So I have a mental block against asking her to, say, scoop cat litter or even do laundry.
She did cook for Tim on Saturday, which was lovely. She’s actually offered multiple times, but the pain is killing his appetite.
Meanwhile, Mom is coming down on Wednesday to help for a few days. She doesn’t use a cane or walker. Other than the recent cataract surgery (one down, one to go) she’s pretty healthy. so I don’t worry about her offering to scoop the litter, take out the trash or do laundry.
Plus, she cooks more things that I’ll eat. Tim, on the other hand, eats more things that Nadine cooks. So while they’re both here, both Tim and I have a shot at eating real food rather than our usual mix of frozen meals, cereal and protein bars.
I think another week of rest, elevation and ice will help get Tim’s sprain under control. That will mean he’ll be more mobile right around the time Mom has to leave.
What’s the stupidest way you’ve ever injured yourself? Has your significant other ever let you forget it?